Monday, June 13, 2011

Attitude Counts

You know how I like to keep it real here, don't ya? 

I've had a bad attitude all week.  Last week anyway.  If you follow along on my little blog or facebook, you know that the last 2 weeks have been miserable.  I always thought that after a while I would be immune to emotional attacks, but every one hurts just as much as the one before (and when they come in quick succession it is worse!). 

In retaliation, I've pulled away.  Away from my wonderful husband, away from my adorable children, my church family and friends and away from my sphere, my home.  I've been grouchy. (Why shouldn't I, everything is terrible!)  I've neglected the house. (Who cares, the kids make it messy and nobody wants to help me clean it up.  Nobody wants to buy it anyway!)  I've neglected my children.  (They don't care if they eat junk and watch TV all day, so why should I?)  And my darling husband. (Why isn't he doing something about this????)

See?  Nasty, terrible, horrible attitude.  As I'm sure you've read in previous posts, I do realize that I have much to be thankful for.  I try to see joy in all my trials.  Sometimes my attitude gets the better of me though.  I'm working on it....always working on it.

I sometimes think that Lorrie and God must talk about me.  It always seems that she has just the right words of encouragement just when I need it (and since I got this product several weeks ago, she must be able to see in the future too! - just joking :))
I've been listening to 2 mp3s lately;   12 Keys to a Queenly Castle and Attitude Adjustments.  Lorrie doesn't mince words.  She is adament (and she is correct!) that my attitude is MY choice.  I have learned over the last year that I can't control what other people do but I can control how I respond - I CAN control my attitude - about everything!  My circumstances don't control me.  Although I may not be able to actively change them at this time I CAN control my attitudes and actions regarding those circumstances.

In 12 Keys to a Queenly Castle Lorrie reminds me of my God-given role, my sphere of influence and the mandate that God has given me to raise, teach and train my children.  She begins by reminding me to treat my husband as a king deserves to be treated (whether I think he deserves it or not! - mine does :)).  Then she moves on to my home, my children and showing hospitality.

Attitude Adjustments uses the alphabet to give 26 "reminders" about how I have the ability to change my attitude, how God wants my attitude to be and the rewards of a joyful attitude (and obedience to God). 

These are great Mp3s!  They are available at Eternal Encouragement starting at $6.95 (and are available as a hard CD also). 

Even better, Lorrie has offered to bless a reader of a Gabby Moms blog with a FREE Mp3!

To enter:
1. Go to EE link to choose MP3 file they want to win
2. Go to The Gabby Moms blog where June's review links are posted and comment
a. which blog they read about the giveaway (Miss Carie at Living, Loving and Learning with the Lord!)
b. name of MP3 file they want if chosen as winner
c. email contact info
3. Winner will be chosen on Saturday, June 18th via
4. Winner will be notified by email to contact info left in comments
5. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim prize or an alternate winner will be chosen

You control your attitude, don't let your attitude control you, your family and your home!

***I received these items for an honest review from the Gabby Moms program.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Female Eyes Only

Given the nosie nature of men (at least the men I know) I have no doubt that some will decide to read this just because I said they shouldn't.....whatever.  Just don't say I didn't warn you :)

Women have deal with than men.  Monthly issues.  Sometimes expensive monthly issues.

I've found a way to deal with these issues while saving money and helping my health in the process.


You've read my previous cloth diapering post, right?  Cloth diapers have been used forever by women that didn't have any other options.  Although I have heard many who beg to differ, using disposable diapers isn't really any different than using cloth.  Not really......with one you have more trash, with the other you have more laundry. 

What do you suppose women did during the monthly "curse" 100 years ago?  Think about it for a minute.  Now, let me tell you how I handle it today.

Let me begin by saying that my monthly cycle is very heavy.  If I use disposable products then I am spending anywhere from $10-$15 a month on supplies (unless I am careful, find coupons and sales, etc).  That adds up quickly.  About 5 years ago, I heard some women discussing cloth feminine products on a message board I frequented.  I decided that they must be crazy, but I was VERY curious.  About 4 years ago, I searched and searched and finally bought some "mama cloth" from Joyful Living Naturals.  I ended up purchasing 2 sets of the postpartum size (heavy cycle - remember?).  I think the cost at the time was about $42.  It depends on what size you want.  You CAN make your own.  Patterns abound on the internet for purchase or free.  A friend made some just tracing the ones I had already purchased.  I will probably make the ones I need from now on, but this was the easiest way to get started and 4 years later, I am still using the ones I originally purchased. 

How do I "handle" them?  It really isn't that big of a deal.  You just have to change the way you think.  I'm not touching anything gross.  I mean, really, you have to take them off whether they are cloth or disposable.   I remove mine, fold once and put into an ice cream bucket (with lid) under the bathroom sink.  My wonderful husband knows not to look.  I keep the clean ones under the sink when I don't need them on in a basket on the back of the toliet when I do.  When the bucket is almost full (or on diaper washing day) I throw them into the load of diapers, rinse the bucket out (usually only at the end of my cycle) and put the bucket back under the sink.  When I don't have a babe in diapers I will wash them with towels, sheets or dark colors.  I don't want to bleach them so I keep them out of the white loads.

I don't care what you say, blood is blood.  I deal with blood on clothing all the time around here. (I have THREE boys!)  It washes.  I don't worry about these items staining because NOBODY sees them.  Who cares?  But really, almost all of mine are stain free.  I use disposables when out and about so I go through about 1/2 a package a month.  You could easily keep a ziplock baggie in your purse and use the cloth pads all the time (I've done that when money was extra tight).  Just like cloth diapers.  I have yet to notice a smell on me, in my bag or in my bathroom. 

Also, as a bonus, I've noticed that my cycle is lighter.  Not non-existent lighter, but noticeably lighter.  I had heard from various discussions that this would happen, but honestly didn't believe it.  I now know it is true.  (It has something to do with the chemicals in the disposable products). 

So, there ya go.  Now you know all kinds of stuff about me you didn't dream of, did you?  LOL  You can think that I'm weird.  That's ok.  I can handle it.  If you've got any questions, let me know :)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Coth Diapering

It always comes up in conversation (especially with a little girl often in a dress)......are those CLOTH diapers??? 

Yes, yes they are. 

No, I haven't lost my mind.  No, we are not dirt poor.  No, I'm not super mom.  No, it's not really that big of a deal.  No, you don't have to touch poop (or anymore often then you would with a disposable).

Moving on.

I started using cloth diapers when Bear was 4 months old.  I bought my first set from Craig's list for $50 plus $10 shipping.  I bought a few more over the next year (cheaply made - but cheap!).  Yes, they saved us a ton of money.  I used disposable diapers any time we went somewhere and at night but my diaper bill was very low.

What do I do with the "dirty" ones?  Well, the wet diapers get thrown into a medium sized trashcan lined with a pillowcase.  When it is full, I pull the pillowcase and take it to the washing machine.  The "dirty" diapers get taken immediately to the bathroom and dipped in the potty to removed any solids.  Then I wrap the very wet diaper into a towel and set on the top of the dryer.  I never notice a smell in the laundry room. 

Washing:  When it comes time to wash the diapers (usually every other day with my stash) I toss them in the washing machine.  I do 1 cold water rinse, then set the washing machine to hot wash/cold rinse and add the appropriate amount of Rockin Green Diaper Detergent (this stuff works great on clothes also).  When that is done I run another cold water rinse.  Then into the dryer or onto the clothes line they go. 

I only used cloth with Bear until he was about 16 months old.  At that time his bladder was so big that he would leak very quickly.  So we went back to disposables until he was potty trained at his 2nd birthday.

When Abby was born I used disposable diapers until she was about 4 months old.  The diapers I had left from Bear were sized and at 4 months she could finally fit into them.  However, they had been used when I bought them, and then used for Bear so several of them weren't usable anymore.  My stash had gotten quite small.  I made a stop at Mommy and Me boutique in Effingham and over the next 3 months bought 18 BumGenius 4.0 diapers.  I LOVE BumGenius diapers.  I cloth diaper ALL the time now.  I carry a wet bag in my diaper bag.  Diapering while out-and-about is the same as it is when home.  I use cloth at night with no issues at all.  I bought a case of Size 3 Pampers in October and if it wasn't for the washing machine kicking the bucket I would still have almost a full case (I still have half a case).  The BumGenius diapers are all one size.  The 18 diapers I bought in October-December will last Abby until she is potty trained (and they work on a baby as small as 6 lbs).  Since Abby is our last baby I will be selling my stash when she is potty trained so I will make some of my investment back then (most BumGenius diapers can be resold for 50% of new price).

Cloth diapering and using the laundrymat aren't an issue either.  I manage the diapers here at home the same way and then wash them in town with the rest of my laundry.  The diapers don't make a full load in the big machines alone so I wash them with towels or sheets. 

So now that you are properly freaked out, I'll tell you that I also use cloth "women's" products as well.  But that's for another post.  LOL

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

A Release from Expectations

I just realized today that Miss Abby is almost 13 months old......and she still take a bottle.

While that might not be a revelation to most of you and you may wonder why I find that interesting, let me explain.  All of the boys were weaned from their bottles with no fanfare at all within days of their 1st birthday.  With Lee and Greg we literally threw the bottles away.  I took them from Bear and hid them just a few days before his birthday. 

Why the difference?  Well, I think part of it has to do with the "older buy wiser" aspect of parenting.  We aren't as grouchy and defensive about things like that anymore.  I have yet to see a 5 year old sucking a bottle and I've seen some pretty lax parenting behaviors before. 

Abby has a milk sensitivity.  We tried to put her on regular milk 6 weeks ago, but she had a horrible reaction to it.  Our nurse practitioner recommended we go back to formula for a month and see if it cleared up (it did) and then we would try to ease her into regular milk after that.  We have about 9 more days of the month back on formula.  Next month we are going to try making the bottles half whole milk, half regular  formula.  If she does well, then the next month will be 3/4 whole milk, 1/4 regular formula.  Hopefully that will take care of the problem.  It is much easier to do such things in a bottle with measurements  on the side.  I could make up a pitcher and keep it in the fridge with the correct measurements but honestly, we don't have that kind of fridge room.  LOL

My realization came today that I'm not uptight or defensive about her still taking a bottle.  Why the sudden chance in my personality?  The people that tend to be so critical of such things aren't really spending mass quantities of time with us right now. 

It is a revelation to me that I had inadvertantly surrounded myself by some very critical people.  Why?  I can assure you that won't be a problem anymore.  Such a little thing has made such a difference in my responding attitude.  I'm not defensive.  I'm not uptight.  I actually hadn't even given the whole bottle thing a thought....until this morning.  LOL 

Surround yourself with loving, kind, supportive people.  It is amazing the difference that will make in your life :)

Monday, June 06, 2011

Monday, Monday

Good morning!

We've had no resolution to our ongoing struggles but I am choosing to embrace this Monday with joy, faith and hope. 

Our weekend was ok.  The guys took part in a fishing tournament on Saturday, catching a whopping 77 lbs. in fish between them.  That's a lot of fish!  The fishfry that night was nice and it was a blessing to visit with friends and neighbors.

Sunday was an emotional day for me.  I spent the morning crying out to God and searching His word for some hope and peace.  Psalm 27 was in my daily reading and I can't begin to express how much that passage spoke to me.  A friend from church stopped by after lunch for a wonderful visit and then our minister/counselor was here for supper.  It was nice being able to visit and share burdens with those that love us.  I don't understand why some people chose to treat us the way they do, but I can see those who have Christ in their heart.  Their expressions of love for us are truly uplifting during our times of trouble.

Our new-used washing machine made it about 2 weeks before it began leaking large quantities of water.  LOL  So it is back to the laundrymat I go today.  We aren't naked yet, but quickly heading in that direction.  I think Norman said he was just going to bite the bullet and buy a new one later this week.  With a family our size I was using $40 a week just to wash laundry at the laundrymat - I take it home to dry it.  It doesn't take long for that to add up.

I think I am starting a job this week.  A dear friend "sits" with an older woman during the week and was looking to share some hours :)  I had been looking for some part time hours and this will be a wonderful blessing as she and I can work out days that work best for both of us.  If  my day/s land when Norman is working I can take Abigail with me, leaving Bear with the older brothers.  It is an answer to prayer for sure!!!!!

It has been so hot, I've been neglecting my flower gardens.  I've got to get out there to them this week no matter the weather.  Maybe today.  It is best to just do it and not dwell on it all week. 

Well, I need to get to work.  I have an unpleasant phone call to make in a bit and then off to town I go.  Have a wonderful day friends!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom

It's one of those silent but deadly things.....nobody has a clue you have it.  When/If you choose to share news of the diagnosis, many believe it is just another "woman" thing.  Directly after my diagnosis many people I told thought it was just a fertility issue.  If I had a penny for every time someone told me to lose weight, I would be rich. 

For full and complete information regarding a diagnosis of PCOS please go HERE.  I am NOT a doctor.  I am sharing my experience with this disease in the hopes that it can help someone else.

After my diagnosis in Oct. 2006, my first and main goal was to get pregnant.  If we hadn't been trying to get pregnant, I may never have been diagnosed in the first place.  That goal was accomplished and Bear was born in Oct. 2007.  For the next year I muddled along.  I knew what I was supposed to be doing but honestly, I didn't want to do it.  I was sticking my head in the long as I didn't admit I had a problem I didn't have to fix it.  But reality set in and my wonderful doctor sent me to a nutritionist.  She was fantastic!  (and covered by insurance)  With her guidance and support (and accountability), I began tracking what I ate and exercising. 

Let me tell you.....I am a carb-a-holic.  A PCOS diet is low carb.  Low and carb are not words I want to hear in the same paragraph let alone the same sentence.  I won't lie and say it was easy or great, but it works.  I also posted my daily walks and distances on facebook for accountability.  It helped that I could walk while pushing Bear in a stroller around town during the older boys soccer practices.  The weight slowly slid off.  Slowly.  But I kept at it.

I was still chugging along when I found out I was pregnant with Abigail in September 2009.  All that diet, exercise and medication (more on that later) had finally caused me to ovulate.  Surprise!  A wonderful surprise she was.  After she was born in May 2010 I knew that I had to get back on track.  At my 6 week checkup I had my doctor do my referal to Carol (I had to stop going while pregnant because she couldn't counsel weight loss while I was pregnant).  I was so excited to go to my first meeting with her......I arrived, only to find out that my insurance wouldn't cover her anymore - and there wasn't any way I could afford the $90 a month (if I only saw her once a mont!) out of pocket.  Bleh.  I tried Weight Watchers for a while (at $40 a month it was almost affordable) but I missed the one-on-one accountability and eventually I just couldn't spent the money or time going to weekly meetings. 

I don't do well alone.  I've gained 15 lbs since Abby was born.  I was just at my 6 month checkup and got the butt chewing from my wonderful doctor.  I know, really, I do.  It's hard to exercise when you don't feel safe walking down your road anymore (when soccer season gets here in Aug. I'll be without excuse).  I hate exercise videos.  Its hard to stop eating when life is just so screwed up and for a while the pan of brownies really does make everything better.

I KNOW that I would love to be a few sizes to run after the kids without gasping for air......have a little self confidence rather than wishing I could fade into the wall. I KNOW that diabetes, heart disease and cancer are greater risks for me if I don't get this under control.  I KNOW.

However hard it is for a "normal" woman to lose weight, it is twice as hard for someone with PCOS.  The way our bodies produce hormones and process carbs....we are fighting a losing battle before the war ever starts.  BUT we can WIN.  I know women who have won.  Discipline and hard work and they have been able to control with symptoms.  They don't have to feel self conscious or shop in the plus size section.  They don't have to feel inferior to the "thin" girls. They improved their health.   I CAN do this. 

Why is diet and exercise so important?  The medication that helps PCOS, the main mostly prescribed medication is Metformin.  Metformin has a nasty side effect of stomach troubles.  If you don't use diet and exercise to your advantage then you have to take higher dosages of metformin.  Higher dosages mean more nasty side effects.  Let's just say the more metformin you have to take, the closer you need to be to a bathroom...always. 

(((sigh)))  So, I'm bound and determined to do this.  For me.  For my little girl (PCOS is genetic).  Healthy habits now will help her in the future.  I deserve to be healthy. 

Thursday, June 02, 2011

A Tale of Two Mornings

Yesterday morning dawned late.  It's not often that I sleep until 8 or that I sleep until Abby wakes up (unless she wakes up very early).  I did however on this day.  Abby, Norman and I all woke up within minutes of each other.  She is so sweet when she wakes up.  All warm and squishy and snuggly.  Abby gave out hugs and lovins. For a few minutes we could forget about the stress of selling a house and all the little jobs that needed done.  For a few minutes, all was perfect.

Four hours later brought the mail.....and the letter.  I should't say THE letter.  This is either the 3rd or 4th over the last 8 months.  Full of lies, accusations and manipulation.  I guess when you see a situation one way and refuse to see the truth you feel compeled to defend against that truth.  Maybe that is when you realize you are wrong.  I don't know.  This letter brought other things also.  Betrayal by a church friend.  Betrayal by a neighbor.  The realization that what I post to MY friends and family on facebook is being reported to others.  Hard stuff.  Finally, a declaration about a legal issue with our property that my husband later finds out is true.  Whether originally done on purpose or not, it is being used by those with the power to control. 

This morning dawns differently.  I awake at 6 a.m. unable to sleep.  I've cried all the tears I have in me so I cry out to God.  I am reminded that He is my defender and my strength.  Those who choose to not believe now will eventually be shown the truth.  I don't have to be right, I just have to cling to God and His Holy Truth.  Abby wakes up at 8 a.m. She's a little on edge, as are all the children.  It is hard for them to see their parents so upset about things that can't be fixed.  Norman is still sleeping.  Some would say it is laziness.  I know that depression is the cause.  God is the answer.  Today he seems far away.

I wonder if we will ever have another perfect morning?